Friday, June 12, 2009

End-of-Week Linkage

Once again we vacuum up news from toonland and spit it out in one hand post.

Nickelodeon Studios, now with 500 employees, is busy greenlighting new product:

Nickelodeon has ordered two new animated series, greenlit three pilots and upped an exec with VP stripes.

Kid cabler is asking for delivery of 26 episodes of "Planet Sheen," a spinoff of its popular "Jimmy Neutron" toon, from creator Steve Oedekerk.

Nick is the one studio -- thus far -- that we've negotiated a new three-year deal with. All them other studios? We're still arm-wrestling at the AMPTP ...

The L.A. Times profiles DreamWorks Animation and its expanding universe of business deals:


DreamWorks' expansion comes at a time when many other Hollywood studios are retrenching and signals to some investors that the company may be positioning itself for a sale once the economy recovers. The Glendale-based film and TV producer headed by Jeffrey Katzenberg and spun off from DreamWorks SKG in 2004 is one of only two smaller publicly owned independent studios left in an industry consolidated among a handful of major players.

Katzenberg has told analysts the company is not for sale at this time but has been increasingly vocal about the company's strategy to leverage its core characters beyond the big screen ...

Futurama returns for more episodes (Fox prime-time series never die ...):

"Futurama" creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen already are working on stories for the new batch of episodes of the sci-fi cartoon, slated to premiere on Comedy Central in mid-2010.

As with "Family Guy," whose improbable return was triggered by big DVD sales and solid ratings for the show's reruns on Cartoon Network, the performance of "Futurama's" repeats on Comedy Central and on disc was key to its resurrection.

Futurama is the only Fox show TAG doesn't have under contract. Hopefully we can get that changed going forward ...

Although television animation is still emaciated compared to earler, fatter years, at Disney TVA there is one generous serving of pot roast on the dinner table:

Disney ordered 35 more episodes [of P and F, which will take the show to 100 total episodes. The third season also features a new recurring cast member: Jack McBrayer, the actor who plays Kenneth the page on "30 Rock." ...

Co-creator Dan Provenmire talks about P and F here:

Dan Povenmire: My writing partner Swampy (Jeff Marsh) and myself were looking to do something together. I was in a restaurant in Pasadena where they put paper in front of you and crayons, so I sketched character ideas. I did this triangle-headed kid and I liked it so much that I took it home and called Swampy and said, "Hey, I think we have our show."

And the rest, as they say, is broadcast history.

And since we're plowing through interview territory, Garfield creator Jim Davis is out tub-thumping for the latest Garfield CGI-live actors feature film.

“The advantages are the reality levels you can achieve,” Davis said. “With traditional animation, you really can’t zoom in on characters. With CGI, all of the sudden you have the right lighting, shading, the right perspectives. You have the right tools to tell the story, if you have the right story."

“It does have greater production values. We’ve done all this stuff in-house, and the guys who [developed it] really did a great job.” ...

“The more I go to CGI, the more I get to distance myself more from Disney, because you’re always going to get compared to Disney, with their big budgets and grand, huge stories.”

Have a glorious weekend. Treat yourself to an ice cream Sundae. It's only right.


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